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I have never been happy with most of the knife handles that come on carving knive.For a year or so I have been trying to make a handle I liked and have found a shape that works really well for my hand. Most carving knives I have purchased generally have a straight top with the bottom of the handle curving down and then curving back up to a some what pointed tail with a smooth grip. These shapes tend to twist in my hand when I am using force andif my hand is a bit sweaty. The shape I have found works best for me I call a fish tail handle. As you can see the handle is higher on the top or back of the knife, this way it fits better in to the hollow of my hand. Then It tapers more from the top down to flat or fish tail shape. The flat tail fit against the back of the palm and does not let the handle twist. I do not know if any one else would want tomake this but I thought I would share.

NOT SURE HOW I GOT TWO PICTURES?
 

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great piece of work looks comfortable to hold and very stylish .The finish looks good and the wood looke the part .what is it?

did you use a existing blade from a old knife?

Whatever you did it works well

Its something thats tempting to do and you do have a great range of palm tools as well .

1st class
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks cobalt. The wood is called "Flame Box Elder" The carving blade I got from Deepwoods Venture. I have made 3 carving knives with that shaped handle so far. There is some satisfation in carving with knife with a handle you made.

great piece of work looks comfortable to hold and very stylish .The finish looks good and the wood looke the part .what is it?
did you use a existing blade from a old knife?
Whatever you did it works well
Its something thats tempting to do and you do have a great range of palm tools as well .
1st class
 

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Slick looking CV3.

I read somewhere the box elder gets the red streaks from a fungus that infects the tree.

I had a box elder that died out prior to the start of my stick making/wood carving hobby. It ended up as firewood :(
 

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CV3'

Are you happy with the blades from deep woods venture? I have been thinking of making my own handles but would prefer to use known good steel blades. Thanks for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
CV3'
Are you happy with the blades from deep woods venture? I have been thinking of making my own handles but would prefer to use known good steel blades. Thanks for your input.
Yes I am. I have now gotten 5 of them. Their blade hold a edge very well. They are very helpful if you have any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Slick looking CV3.
I read somewhere the box elder gets the red streaks from a fungus that infects the tree.
I had a box elder that died out prior to the start of my stick making/wood carving hobby. It ended up as firewood :(
It is a nice wood to work with also. I have tried to fined some limbs for walking sticks but no luck yet.
 

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Slick looking CV3.
I read somewhere the box elder gets the red streaks from a fungus that infects the tree.
I had a box elder that died out prior to the start of my stick making/wood carving hobby. It ended up as firewood :(
It is a nice wood to work with also. I have tried to fined some limbs for walking sticks but no luck yet.
I hadn't seen even pictures of flamed box elder until recently. Around here, the tree is pretty much a weed. There's one down the block that was ripped apart by thunderstorms 2 times over the last 30 years. Continues growing as a big formless mess. Suckers all around the main trunk, which is at this point only about 8' tall, but surrounded by a huge mass of side branches. They produce immense amounts of seed most years. I have a few hundred to pull out of my flower beds just now.

I had one in my back yard that came down in a storm also about 30 years ago. Despite repeated attempts to destroy the roots, I still have spouts coming out of the ground. When the tree came down, I was able to cut it up enough to get it broken down to manage bits with only a bow saw. The wood was soft enough, the saw barely dulled.

All the wood was white, almost no grain figure. From what I've read recently, the wood, which actually is a very soft maple, has properties more like the European lime that Cobalt uses for many of his toppers, than American lime, aka basswood. I did make 1 stick for my wife from basswood. She liked it because it was so light, but I cautioned her that she shouldn't lean on it to hard. Box Elder is stronger, but I'm not very sure it would be strong enough for a hard use staff. So I'm on the lookout for a good sized branch just to try it as a carving wood.
 

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Had a look on line to see if its possibly to get the wood here, no joy so far

After gdenby mentioned it carves well its made me even more determined to try to get some . it would look great on a finished topper unpainted with a good finish on it .

trying exotic timber importers .

The trouble is with the lime it hasnt the charcter that the knife handle has ,its very bland , cherry has some richnes in the wood and some apple and pear are good for carving

So green with envy and more determined to get some .and blame CV3 and gdenby .lol
 

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As gdenboy said its considered a weed tree around here. The one that died out on the back of my property I cut down 5 years ago. It has produced two "new" trees from the roots.

I would have no problem cutting these down again as the tree is exceptionally messy with seeds and the ever present little box elder beetles that infest the tree.

I wonder how you would determine if the tree has been infected with the fungus that produces the red streaks?

Another shrubby tree considered an invasive exotic around here that produces neat red streaks is the buckthorn.
 

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I came across a study yesterday that was trying to determine what causes the "flame" effect. I suppose if it can be caused at will, there would be more use for the tree. The study first looked at samples of flamed wood for traces of the fungus that was thought to cause the coloration. What they eventually found was that there were 2 other kinds of fungi that were more likely to be the agents, one of which, if I understand what I read, often is found on the bark of the tree.

They found that if the tree was "wounded" by boring a hole into it, within six weeks, the red stain had started to form. It formed if the holes were open or plugged. It did not happen in dead wood. So there is some interaction between the fungus and whatever a living tree produces that comes in contact w. the fungus.

I see that lots of the samples of flame box elder have interior holes, maybe bug bores, or stress cracks. The study's finding seem very plausible. Either "wound" would allow the fungi to live in the wood.

It appears that if one were careful about piercing a young box elder, and a few decades there would be some fine flame figure. Without the fungus, the heartwood gets a rather boring greyish-brown streaking.
 

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havnt had any luck in locating a english supply of the wood. Its a pity a wood like this wood make a ideal material for a mermaid topper or a naked girl .Thers loads on ebay in america but the cost of shipping is unrealistic and the time factor is long 3-5weeks.It would be idel for a fench polish finish or just clear varnished

Also i like to see exactly what i am getting as need a clean unknotted pieice .the blanks look good but have been disapionted in the past with some items .

There are alternatives available here ,mostly from africa like pink ivory but its pretty pricey.,i wouldnt mind if i was sure of getting a good section of timber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Box elder is a Maple (hence Acer), and although it is a soft Maple, it is every bit as much a hardwood as it's harder sibling Acer Saccharum . . .or "Hard Maple/Black Maple".
But what makes the Negundo species of the Acer genus develop all those pretty flames? In a nutshell, borers. The red flames develop due to the non-specific host response to borer intrusion. A Boxelder tree will not become "flamed" unless and until borer attacks such as the Ambrosia Beetle or Box Elder Bug are undertaken against the tree. No borers, no flames. Don't you just love those bugs?
 

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So those little red box elder beetles are responsible for the flame streaks? My little scrubby box elder is loaded with them. Hmm, perhaps I should cut one of the twin trunks off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
MJC4 let me know if you do I would like to know if the red shows well in the limbs or small trees. I talked to a man in Texas that harvests the flame box elder and sells the boards but he said sticks were not
worth the time it would harvest and sell them. May try and get a 2"x6'x6' to rip and plane down to
sticks. I have done that with walnut.
 

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Ever since i saw CV3 knife handles i have been searching for this wood without any joy, i am determinid to find a uk supply of it .

I am hoping to lay my hands on some to make a crook . with the intention of laminating a thin peice of a dark wood between two layers of it .I have decided on the subject matter based on a mermaid although the drawings still a tad crude and need to balance the scale effect ot more

This is the subject matter when i find the wood, the idea of laminating it should give the crook more strenght as i will use the flame wood grain running top to bottom and the darker wood sie to side to in prove the crooks strengh .and prevent mishaps whilst carving or dropping it.

Handwriting Office supplies Font Ball pen Line
 

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Glad you resurrected this old thread Cobalt, I'm going to have to get out and lop a chunk off my box elder this spring and see what it looks like.
 

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Found several site that sell pen blanks made from the wood trying to see if i can get a response from them about it.
 

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still no joy in getting box elder here ,but still searching for it, found a site selling off very thin american chesnut which i will use for the centre of the piece if i ever get the wood,

still doodling with the drawing and have gone back to the leg cleek sould be okay with a darker wood in between the box elder, provided i can get some

Art Font Drawing Electric blue Automotive design think it will have to be carved and shaped in 3 peices to get the effect i am after ,Just seem to make work for myself
 

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